With five races remaining in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season a lot can happen to shake up the standings and one of the best places for that to take place is this weekend’s Michigan International Speedway. The NASCAR Xfinity Series’ returns to the Irish Hills of Michigan for the 23rd race of the 2021 season, the New Holland 250, this Saturday, August 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). The series did not compete at Michigan last season due to the pandemic, the first time since adding the track to the schedule in 1992.
This weekend’s venue, Michigan International Speedway, a 2-mile paved oval, has hosted the NASCAR Xfinity Series 28 times dating back to the inaugural race on August 15, 1992. The first Xfinity race at Michigan was won by Todd Bodine driving a Chevrolet for car owner Frank Cicci with an average speed of 125.414 mph. In total, 20 different drivers have won in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Michigan International Speedway, led by eight different drivers with two victories each – Todd Bodine (1992, 2000), Kyle Busch (2004, 2015), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1999, 2006), Denny Hamlin (2007, 2017), Carl Edwards (2008, 2011), Brad Keselowski (2009, 2010), Mark Martin (1993, 1995) and Ryan Newman (2001, 2005). Only one of the 20 former Xfinity Michigan winners is entered this weekend, Tyler Reddick, who also is the most recent winner at the track taking the checkered flag back in 2019. Reddick will be piloting the No. 23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet on Saturday.
A total of 22 different NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers have qualified on the pole at Michigan International Speedway, led by three drivers with two poles each – Kyle Busch (2014, 2017), Austin Dillon (2012, 2013) and Paul Menard (2011, 2019). Due to COVID-19 restrictions this season’s starting lineups for the New Holland 250 will be decided by Metric Qualifying and as a result Austin Cindric will start on the pole and will be joined by AJ Allmendinger on the front row.
Only three of the 28 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Michigan International Speedway have been won from the pole or first starting position; the most recent driver to accomplish the feat was Brad Keselowski in 2010. The deepest in the field that an Xfinity Series race winner has started at Michigan is 38th, by Ryan Newman in 2005.
Different Winners Streak: Michigan has seen 10 different Xfinity winners
Michigan International Speedway is currently riding a different winners streak in the NASCAR Xfinity Series that has reached 10 different winners and dates back to 2010. This weekend, the New Holland 250 on Saturday, August 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, has chance to produce an 11th different winner and keep the streak going. Only one former winner is entered this weekend, Tyler Reddick, who grabbed the victory in 2019.
The streak of different winners began in 2010 with Brad Keselowski, then Carl Edwards (2011), Joey Logano (2012), Regan Smith (2013), Paul Menard (2014), Kyle Busch (2015), Daniel Suarez (2016), Denny Hamlin (2017), Austin Dillon (2018) and Tyler Reddick (2019). The series did not compete at Michigan last season due to the pandemic.
Two drivers in NASCAR Xfinity Series history have recorded their first series win at Michigan International Speedway – Ryan Newman in 2001 and 2016 Xfinity Series champion Daniel Suarez in 2016.
Clinch Scenarios: Five to go in the regular season
Seven Playoff positions are still up for grabs, as just five drivers have secured their spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series postseason heading into Michigan International Speedway this weekend.
The following five drivers have clinched a spot in the 12-driver postseason field: Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Jeb Burton and Myatt Snider.
Can Clinch Via Win
The following drivers would clinch on their win alone this weekend: Daniel Hemric, Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones, Jeremy Clements, Riley Herbst, Brandon Brown, Ryan Sieg.
The following drivers could clinch with a win and some help: Tommy Joe Martins, Alex Labbe, Landon Cassill, Josh Williams.
Team Penske’s Austin Cindric grabs fifth win, eyes regular season title
2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion and Team Penske driver Austin Cindric is on feverish pace this season posting his fifth victory in just his 22nd start of the season, opening his points lead on AJ Allmendinger in second in the driver standings to a stout 82 markers.
The next goal for the former series champ Cindric is to lock-up the regular season title and the 15 additional Playoff points that go with it. Cindric has already accumulated 33 Playoff points – most of any driver this season. If he accomplishes the feat, he will become the first driver in the Xfinity Series to win multiple Regular Season Championships.
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NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Josh Berry to race fulltime in 2022 for JR Motorsports – JR Motorsports announced this week Josh Berry will drive fulltime in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition beginning in 2022. The 30-year-old Berry will pilot the No. 8 Chevrolet in pursuit of the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.
“This moment is something we’ve been working toward for a long time,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., JRM team owner. “Josh took full advantage of the opportunity he had this year in the No. 8 car. He went out, raced hard, and earned every bit of this. With all he’s accomplished on a limited schedule, I can’t wait to see what he can do in this series full time.”